It has been a rough offseason for the USC Trojans, to be sure. The team saw offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury depart for the NFL just weeks after signing a contract with them. Meanwhile, the man the Trojans got to replace Kingsbury, Graham Harrell, has not triggered the same level of excitement as his predecessor, and even has one analyst openly criticizing the hire.
On the Tuesday edition of
— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) January 29, 2019
">ESPN's College Football Live, analyst Brock Huard criticized USC for their decision to hire a coach who uses the Air Raid offense, rather than get a coordinator to build a system around the players.
"I don't like this fit at all..." Huard said. "And it really has nothing to do with Kliff or Graham... I just don't think USC has to run the Air Raid... The Air Raid is for teams that usually can't go toe-for-toe (with other teams)."
Harrell served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the North Texas Mean Green from 2016 to 2018, during which the team went to three bowl games and earned Conference USA West Division title honors in 2017.
Prior to his stint with North Texas, Harrell served as wide receivers coach at Washington State from 2014 to 2015.
The Trojans were basically forced to scramble and find an offensive coordinator after Kingsbury, who had been hired as their offensive coordinator in December, left the team in order to take the vacant Arizona Cardinals head coach position.
USC finished the 2018 season with a 5-7 record - their first losing season since 2000.
Despite the disappointing season, the team decided to retain head coach Clay Helton for 2019.